If you are an employee hired after November 6, 1986, your employer must be able to prove that you are legally authorized to work in the United States and will ask you to present documentation showing that you have work authorization. However, an employer cannot single you out to require employment verification because you are of a particular national origin group or you appear not to be a citizen. Neither can an employer require that you be a U.S. citizen, or generally give those who are U.S. citizens a preference in hiring or employment opportunities, unless there are legal or contractual requirements that mandate he or she do so. It is illegal for an employer to discriminate against legal aliens merely because they look like noncitizens or in fact are not citizens or because they have a particular type of work authorization.

Under immigration law, individuals who charge discrimination on the basis of national origin against employers with 4 to 14 employees or on the basis of citizenship status against employers with fewer employees should file a complaint within 180 days of the date of the alleged unfair immigration-related employment practice with the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices in the Department of Justice.

For more information about immigrantsí employment rights, contact:

U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530
(202) 616-5594
Employer hot line: (800) 255-8155
Employee hot line: (800) 255-7688
Fax: (202) 616-5509